Monday, December  10, 2018
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After a relatively long interval since last hiking -- over a month -- we decided it was time to get out again. Again we managed to find a hike that gave me another 111er peak while continuing to satisfy the always-desirable quality of excellent scenery, and the usually-desirable quality of not-too-long. What's the peak, you ask? Mount Eisenhower. Eisenhower is one of the many domes and bumps that comprise the Southern Presidential Range of New Hampshire. Much of the area along the crest of the range is beautiful above-treeline tundra.

One has to be careful about the Presidential Range, as weather conditions can be severe. Fortunately, though, it was looking like a narrow bit of relatively good weather, combined with good visibility, was available to us -- and conveniently, on a Saturday morning at that. After that, it was supposed to cloud-in, but we had a window of opportunity. So.. the hike was on!

After driving down early in the morning (like the last hike, we decided to tackle this one as a drive-hike-drive-in-a-day outing), we started off from the Crawford Path Parking lot on the southwest end of the Mt Clinton Road near Crawford Notch. Note that if the Mt Clinton Road had been plowed, we would have started from the Edmands Path parking lot, but as it wasn't, we had to start here. This meant our hike was going to be in the 15km range (instead of the shorter hike that would have been available to us if the road to the Edmands Path parking lot had been driveable).
Crawford Path Parking Lot
Mt Clinton Road
Roadway chatting
Our starting location had a silver-lining, though. Even though it was longer, it made a loop hike available to us. We'd walk down the snow-covered Mt Clinton road, hike up the Edmands Path, then climb over Mt Eisenhower, continuing southwest down along the Crawford path until we reached the next mountain (Mt Pierce), and then back down to the parking lot. Loop hikes are good!
Mr. Ashford
Focus away
First glimpses of the Big E
Our hike along the Mt Clinton Road was quick, and we managed quite a clip along the well-packed (by snowmobiles) road. It wasn't at all long before we were at the Edmands Path trailhead, fitting on our snowshoes.
The Edmands Path
Heading up Edmands
Broken out
Fortunately for us, the Edmands Path had been recently broken out, making the level of effort required much less. We established a good pace and made our way up the gentle lower grades of the trail. Higher up, we instituted our 'Quarter-K' rule, where we stop for a break every 250 feet of vertical elevation gain.
Quarter-K
The 3250 break
The Mono Zone
The Edmands Path turned out to be very-well graded. It was never really super-steep anywhere along it's length. At just over 4,000 feet, the trail started to level off and traverse around the upper flank of Mount Eisenhower, headed for the Eisenhower-Franklin col. Beautiful views started to emerge!
The Mono Zone
Approaching views
Traverse Start
Crossing a gully
Traversing Along
View to Eisenhower's summit
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